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Life @ Home eNewsletter: October 2021 for Sellers

Header Design Element 1 OCTOBER 2021 | WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE?

» Seller beware of “We Buy Homes!” scams
» How to handle repairs in a historic home
» 5 best U.S. cities for fans of fall Design Element 2 Don't sign anything without a lawyer   Seller beware of “We Buy Homes!” scams

The signs and flyers are everywhere, and they all say the same thing: just “We buy homes!” and a number to call.

Would-be sellers can think this is an easy, fast and all-cash solution. Just pick up the phone and call! But be warned: There’s no telling who’s really on the other end of the line. Oftentimes, it’s a scam.

How it works

“We buy homes” scams vary wildly. Think of the slogan itself as bait, with many different types of fishermen trying to get you to bite.

Some scammers go for a simple cash grab. They’ll ask for an administrative fee upfront, then disappear. Or they’ll “accidentally” cut you too big of a check and ask you to wire the extra cash back. After you send the money, you learn the first check they sent you was fraudulent. You’ve been robbed.

Other scammers will persuade you to sign over the title to your home as part of the process. The “buyer” then ends up controlling the home, possibly even renting it out to tenants, but leaving you on the hook for mortgage payments.

Finally, the scammer may be something called a “bird dog.” These scammers lock you into a contract, preventing you from selling the home while they take their time shopping it around to potential investors. But there’s no guarantee they’ll even find an investor willing to bite, leaving you potentially out fees and stuck waiting for the contract to expire.

Remember: Real buyers pay earnest money. You shouldn’t be charged up-front fees. Don’t sign anything without money in hand or a lawyer present. Trust your gut. If it feels off, it usually is.     Historic home upkeep   How to handle repairs in a historic home

From Cape Cods to Victorians, historic homes have a real wow factor — but only if they’re maintained right.

A rehabbed historic home should be comfortable to live in but still maintain its unique charm. Here are four tips to get you started. Make sure it’s watertight. Water infiltration is often a disaster for historic homes. If the roof, foundation, windows and doors aren’t in good shape, any other work you put in is likely to be ruined down the line. Go for quality over quantity. Historic rehabs and restorations take time. Don’t cut corners by buying cheap substitutes. Matching the materials and aesthetic of the original home accurately is the key to a great outcome. Minimize invasive procedures. Ripping out floors and walls can kill the historic details that made you love the home in the first place. When updating utilities, talk to your contractors about less-invasive solutions, like split systems for heating, cooling and electric. Know what’s important. Knowing when the home was built, who lived in it and its community context will help you throughout the rehab or restoration process — from fixing the foundation to the final coat of paint.     Pumpkin Patch   5 best U.S. cities for fans of fall

1. Try Bar Harbor, ME, for fabulous fall foliage.
2. Go apple picking in Sturgeon Bay, WI.
3. Prefer pumpkins? Sycamore, IL, is for you.
4. Sip some cider in Interlaken, NY.
5. Head to Jasper, GA, for a heck of a hayride.  

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